Most of the attention in this recent attack by a US drone at the Baghdad Airport has been on it killing Iranian Quds Force commander, Qasim (Qassem) Solmaini (Suleimani), supposedly plotting an “imminent” attack on Americans as he flew a commercial airliner to Iraq at the invitation of its government and passed through passport control. But much less attention has been paid to the killing in that attack of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq and reportedly an officer in the Iraqi military, as well as being, according to Juan Cole, a Yazidi Kurd, although the PMF is identified as being a Shia militia allied with Iran.
The problem here is that supposedly US leaders approved this strike because there were no Iraqi officials in this group; it was supposedly “clean.” But there was al-Muhandis, with his PMF also allied to a political faction, the Fath, who hold 48 seats in the Iraqi parliament. The often anti-Iranian Shia leader, Moqtada al-Sadr, has now joined with Fath and other groups to demand a vote in the parliament to order a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. It might be good for them to go, although Trump has just sent in 3,500 more Marines to protect the US embassy that came under attack and protests after an earlier US attack on pro-Iranian militias.
I’m assuming “not jeopardized” was meant to be “NOW jeopardized”.
Thanks for catching that boo boo. I have corrected it in the original post on Econospeak.
The Dumpster® wanted a strike and wants to BRAG about it because he suffers from metaphorical “Barack Obama penis envy syndrome”.
History has taught us over and over again that attacks like this only galvanize the public against the attacker and to support the government, no matter how oppressive. The Nazis understood this:
. . . it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”
~ Herman Goering
What Trump has done only fans hatred for the US and advances the interests of our enemies. Those who believe otherwise have failed to learn the lessons of history.
The Atlantic has an interesting article up discussing how radical candidates such as Trump were handled in the past. Potential Candidates such as Henry Ford and others such as Wallace were vetted by Party professionals who blocked them from the nomination. Of course I am speaking briefly about this article and there is more to it than my one sentence. Another issue brought up was small donations and their source being the wealthier of the population even though a candidate may deny the billionaire donation. The point being. a candidate may ignore those who can not make a donation. It is only in the last decade has the radicalism in the selection process has risen without the party control.
I admit my wording may be awkward on this topic. If you can get it, I think you will find it interesting. I will read it again and perhaps offer a better explanation.
If they want revenge, in the interest of avoiding future bloodshed, I suggest that we give them Mike Pence.
I get your point. As a long-time student of 20th century American history, I’m well aware of the role of the party in vetting candidates. Of course, the loud bleating of the Bernibros has brought the party process into disrepute. But Bernie would have been a bad choice then and he’s a bad choice now. I agree with most of his views, but as Marshal Mcluhan famously observed, the medium is the message, and Bernie is a terrible medium.
I note that the Iraqi parliament has indeed voted to recommend to the government that US troops be expelled from Iraq, even though there are villages in northern Iraq under the control of remnants of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
I also note that Iran will now further withdraw from the JCPOA nuclear deal by removing limits on the number of centrifuges enriching uranium as well as limits on the level of enrichment. They will still allow IAEA inspectors in though, probably the last remnant of the deal.
One might call this picking a fight to start a war of distraction to deflect from the impeachment and provide a bully-boy scenario to improve rating amongst those to the right of the political spectrum. Few republicans will push back on this and some such as Collins will feint disapproval only to cave in the end. Collins got her defense spending bills approved for Portsmouth and Bath. She will not jeopardize them and have the funding pulled to build a wall. Trump locked her in as well as others who may be border dissenters.
I think Run is exactly right about shoring up GOP Senate support, but I think the real purpose was to co- opt possible John Bolton testimony, Does anyone think that Bolton will testify against a president who started a hot war with Iran? All that being said while very reckless and done for all the wrong reasons, it is not clear to me that killing Solemaini was a mistake. He was a bad guy and maybe the boil had to be lanced. Of course Trump should not have blown up the nuclear deal, just like the CIA should not have put the Shah on the Peacock Throne in the 50’s.
@Terry, January 5, 2020 10:37 pm
If the plan is to leave Syria and Iraq, it was not. In this case it was a screwed, albeit mafia-style, tactical move killing two birds with one stone.
But a more plausible hypothesis is that it was spontaneous Trump-style overreaction on siege of the US embassy which now start backfiring in a spectacular and very dangerous way, because Iran views this as the declaration of war (and not without reasons, see below)
If this is true, the most close analogy I can think of is probably Lebanon, 1983. See overview of 1983 Beirut barracks bombings at https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/there-will-be-blood-by-larry-c-johnson.html
He called for closer of the US embassy and forming united Shia paramilitary groups to fight occupation which he named “Resistance legions”
More specifically, Sadr issues a statement with demands:
• close the US embassy
• end security deal immediately
• close US bases in a humiliating way
• protection of Iraq should be handed to the Resistance militias
• boycott of US products
In my latest SwissInfo News:
The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the interests of the United States in Iran, has been called upon to convey messages between the two countries following the killing of an Iranian general by a US air strike.
Switzerland has called on both sides to avoid escalating an already volatile situation.
Iran has threatened “revenge” following the death of Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on Friday. The US has confirmed that President Donald Trump had ordered the strike against the head of the Iranian elite Quds Force.
The Iranian foreign ministry tweeted that it had summoned officials from the Swiss embassy to express outrage at the “assassination of General Soleimani”, saying it was a “blatant example of American state terrorism”, reports the Swiss news agency, Keystone-SDA.
In an emailed statement to swissinfo.ch, the Swiss foreign ministry “confirms that the chargé d’affaires of the Swiss embassy in Tehran was summoned to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 3 January 2020.”
Excellent piece in Current Affairs. Vaccinate yourself against the propaganda.